Health

Let us take Covid-19 precautions seriously

Right now, a number of families, including here in Kajiado, are mourning their loved ones, having been struck down by the deadly virus. Hospital wards around the country are full of Covid-19 patients

By Kajiado Star Editorial board

It is now abundantly clear that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is sweeping across the country, leaving devastation in its wake.

Right now, a number of families, including here in Kajiado, are mourning their loved ones, having been struck down by the deadly virus. Hospital wards around the country are full of Covid-19 patients.

The other day, Kajiado Deputy Governor, Martin Moshisho went around visiting families, overcome with grief, trying to comfort them as they dealt with the loss of loved ones.

At times, like on Tuesday, August 3, he went to condole with three different families, including that of the late Prof Paul Kuya Kisoso, a well-known and well-loved man of God. The family of Mzee Kisoso indicated that their patriarch died of Covid-19 complications.

Covid-19 is on the rampage across the country and Kajiado is no exception. The Delta variant of the infection, which was first detected in India, and which is said to be more infectious, is on the ascendancy and infection rates are rising exponentially.

The fact of the matter is that by now, almost every person knows at least a person who has not just been infected with Covid, but has died as a result of being infected.

Recently, Nation ran a story where the management of EPZ, in Athi River, was calling on the Ministry of Health to establish a vaccination centre for the over 60,000 employees of the facility.

The bulk of EPZ employees live in Kitengela, which is in Kajiado East. The same paper also reported that in Kiambu, the Tigoni Isolation Centre is overwhelmed. “We may not be able to take in any more patients…because we cannot cope with the provision of oxygen…” James Nyoro, the governor of Kiambu is quoted as saying.

The fact that there is constant mingling of people in the three counties means that the infection rate in Kajiado county must also be up.

It is therefore quite disconcerting that the administration in Kajiado County has chosen to keep quiet in the face of rising infections and even deaths in the county. We are not being told about the levels of preparedness in the county, including how the Health Department is planning to cope with Covid-19.

As we speak, we do not yet know how many Covid patients are currently admitted in county hospitals and how they are coping.

Do we know how if the Kajiado Referral Hospital has enough Oxygen supply to cope with patients who will definitely require it? Are tests for the disease still being conducted in Kajiado? If so, what are the infection rates?

We want to believe that something is being done by the Health Department in Kajiado County, for that is where the experts are. The people of Kajiado need to be reassured that the county is on top things.

It is thus incumbent on the Kajiado County Government, through the Health Department to start issuing regular updates, through the media about the Covid situation in the county.

Among other things, we need to know how the county is planning to acquire vaccines, once the new batches arrive in the country. We need to be assured that our frontline workers, including health workers and teachers are well-protected to undertake their duties.

In the just concluded budget, the Department of Health got a vote of over sh2.5 billion, by far the highest allocation for any department in Kajiado county. That amount must be put to use wisely and prudently. And in the era of Covid, we should see more funds allocated to prevention and treatment of the disease.

The department led by Esther Somoire must ride Kajiado County out of the Covid storm. They have the goodwill and now the funds to do what is expected of them.

Meanwhile we all need to observe the laid down Covid protocols; sanitise, wear masks, wash hands with soap and clean flowing water and remember to keep social distance while out there. Let no one cheat you that you are in a remote area that you can’t contract the disease.

No one, repeat, no one is immune to this disease.

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